The truth about the NRL TV deal announcement

Don’t be fooled by yesterday’s smiley press conference at NRL land. John Grant and his pizza-scoffing sidekicks are categorically dry-heaving about the new TV deal.

Much like the majority of the NRL fan base, they think a large chunk of the particulars are badly foul and ignorant to the needs of the common follower. In fact, some were ashamed to the point that a press release written in Greek and folded in to a paper airplane was suggested as the method of breaking the news.

I know this is hard to believe considering Grant seemed to be yapping and free-wheeling at yesterday’s unveiling. He had everyone thinking he was a man beaming with a billion smackers worth of confidence and contentment as he repeatedly winked at cameras and gave himself high-fives.

John “Latte” Grant fighting back the urge to curl in to the foetal position.

The fact of the matter is that he was in a state of delirium after being filled from neck-to-ankle with espresso after a night’s worth of legal uppers at the negotiation table. It was a shield of coffee bean bravado on show, and it was hiding away raw internal terror.

Grant and his suit brigade were so frightened to release the deal, secretly known on the inside as “Gyngell’s hostage demands”, that they went to the extreme of trying one of the oldest chestnuts from the PR manual. Knowing they were going to be caramelised by the searing pan of public opinion, they tried to slowly and carefully usher the news out into the world hidden in amongst much attention-seeking from the periphery.

We’ve all seen it before. Interest rate rises on Melbourne Cup day, government spending cuts as grand finals kick off and announcing Big Brother’s return in the middle of Australian medal ceremonies are some examples of PR gurus trying to pull the wool over our eyes. It’s a lazy man’s smokescreen.

So when the ARLC knew they had to tell the universe that we were all being cruelly locked in to another 5 years of Phil Gould’s ghastly rinse and Brad Fittler’s medicated babble, they panicked, necked a skinny cap and called in the experts to cover this ugly deal’s head with a towel and move it swiftly out the back door.

However, a regular decoy runner wasn’t going to muddle the picture. This was a monstro-pimple that required a one-tonner of PR Clearasil from the spin doctors.

It did take a while, but eventually, they got the newsroom combustions required.

Things started leanly. Brian McClennan getting the inglorious toe from the Warriors followed by the NSW Blues naming their new coach?

OK, fair enough. Not total show-stoppers. Hold fire.

Then a lift in spirits. Former NRL CEO David Gallop being named as Aussie roundball’s new CEO?

Now we’re starting to register on the richter-scale. Load the weapon!

Ben Hornby announcing his retirement?

The nation’s attention is captured! Unload this story NOW!

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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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